EXHIBITION: Desposorio | Images by Pedro Isztin
DATES: April 28 to June 4, 2017 (EXTENDED)
OPENING/VERNISSAGE: April 28, 7-10 PM, artist in attendance
CURATED BY: Melanie Yugo, Possible Worlds Co-Director
Limited edition prints published by Possible Worlds available for purchase throughout the duration of the show. For sales or inquiries, contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
"I met my grandmother Desposorio on a visit to Colombia with my mother and siblings when I was four years old. Desposorio played the tiple guitar, typical of Colombia, and sang in her younger days. 'The way we are connected right now will change, we won't be united like this forever.' I remember that Desposorio's words felt mysterious and sad.
Years later I told my mother about the memory I had of my grandmother’s reaction at the airport as we were leaving, how she had been crying, and held her hand to cover some of her face in sadness, as if she had known it be would be the last time she would see us. When I remember my grandmother I know she was the one who taught me the connection between change and death."
Possible Worlds presents the works of photographer Pedro Isztin (Ottawa) in Desposorio, a series of images taken from around the world exploring themes of mystery, transformation and death.
Travelling through Peru, Mexico, Indonesia, Hungary, India, Tanzania, and Cuba, Isztin used a Holga plastic lens camera to capture experiences that felt like dreams, or memories of dreams, and places never to be returned to again. In addition to the Holga's quality of imperfections and randomness, Isztin challenged himself to spend more time absorbing and reflecting on the life around him by placing limitations on the amount of film he brought and the number of photographs he took of the people and places encountered. He often did not know the results of his efforts until the film was developed at home.
For the show, Isztin's photos have been further altered through the Risograph printing machine as a tool to move his photography practice from traditional to transformative. By experimenting with the Risograph, he both highlights and simplifies the images in order to draw out and distill the symbolism in them, pairing red as a metaphor for the great life force, and blue to represent the spiritual, mysterious transformation, ethereal, liminal space of death.
Choosing subjects from around the world, Isztin’s work portrays a sympathetic connection to nature and humanity. His intimate portraits reveal landscapes with “spirit” and “human nature that is, wherever you may find it, by definition universal.”*
Pedro’s photographs reflect the richness of his diverse heritage. Born in 1964 to a Colombian mother and Hungarian father, Isztin lives in Ottawa, Canada. His recent work explores monolithic structures, (in the series Remains), inner life and outer world, (the installation Sami), the subtlety of a human gesture, (Nuance), and studies of land and humankind’s influence on nature (in The River, Study of Structure and Form, and The Glade).
The River debuted at Ottawa’s City Hall Gallery, in the Fall of 2012 in conjunction with Ottawa’s Photography Festival X and Nuit Blanche. In 2017, the book “The River” will be released, showcasing the series in it’s entirety.
Pedro has received various awards to support the creation of his projects, including an Ontario Arts Council Award, 2006, and a Canada Council For the Arts: Photography Project Grant, 1999. Isztin’s work has been exhibited internationally and featured in photography books, Full of Grace, 2006, New York, and magazines such as Contact Sheet, #148, 2008, Syracuse, NY, Private, #37, 2007, Italy, and Ottawa’s Guerilla, #17, Vol 5, 2008. His work is represented by Wallack Galleries and is also in the permanent collection of the Canada Council Art Bank and The City of Ottawa’s Fine Art collection.
* Line Dezainde, Pedro Isztin: L’insatiable quête du destin, trans. Lisa Poushinsky, Voir.ca, #21, Décembre 2006. “…où qu’il soit, la nature humaine étant par définition universelle.”
For more of the artist's works, head here.
We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.